One commenter, who was very obviously well meaning, said something about how gluttony had never been her sin, but she had plenty of other struggles, they were just less obvious and she really felt for those who struggle with such an obvious sin.
Now gluttony hadn't been the subject of the post to begin with, it was about the way our bodies change after we have babies, and on that day I started to write this post in my head and today I think I have the time to actually sit down and write it.
For most of my life I have been naturally on the thin side. In college I struggled to gain weight to play rugby after a coach told me that I needed to gain at least thirty pounds. I was fluctuating between a size 0 and 2 at this point and drinking weight gainer shakes (with thousands of calories that I could barely keep down) and eating two Chipotle burritos and a order of chips and guacamole at a time (along with many, many other things) and still the scale would not budge. At the time it seemed like a huge, huge problem.
In the last eight years I've been pregnant five times. I've delivered four full term babies. And each time the pregnancy weight loss has felt increasingly more difficult.
With Sadie I was wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans a week after she was born. I had gained forty pounds while I was pregnant with her, but the weight came off quickly. I felt "huge" but in hind sight I was delusional. It took twelve months to totally lose the weight, but it was still easy.
The second time the pregnancy weight came off rather easily again. I mean, I thought it was work, but relatively, looking back, it really wasn't. I was making chicken casseroles and eating bread and occasionally pizza and the weight still steadily disappeared. It was gone before the year mark again.
As I approached thirty my metabolism, which up until that point had carried me along without much effort, hit a wall. I wasn't loosing much weight post partum with Patch until he came down with a mysterious allergy and we had to wait three months to get in to see his allergist and I went on a full elimination diet for a months that meant I could basically only eat meat and fruit and vegetables, while nursing a two month old.
While eating around the clock to try to get enough calories I lost the pregnancy weight in a month. I struggled to keep my milk supply up. Without that scare I know that it would have likely been more like the struggle that I'm experiencing this time around.
I guess you could say that up until that point I thought I was losing the weight because I was active and ate healthily and as a result I was reaping the benefits of that behavior.
Enter the James postpartum period.
|Coming back from this... isn't easy.|
|Six months after Patch was born.|
It means that I'm about 55 lbs more than my lowest weight after college and about 20 more than I'd like to be (30 would be ideal), which I know isn't a lot, but which has been eye opening for me.
Because life is basically exactly the same. I'm eating far less than I have at other times in my life. I'm on my feet just about all day every day. I cook homemade meals for my family and I know that I'm healthy.
Only this time I'm not seeing the results.
We do all have different struggles, but the assumption that someone is overweight because their "gluttonous" isn't necessarily true. People metabolize food differently. Some people can eat like I used to and not gain wait. Others can look at a cup of ice cream and gain five pounds.
We also have these insane expectations of what a postpartum body is supposed to look like. I know that I have had those expectations, at least for myself, and because I know that I'm healthy I've been working to see myself through the eyes of my two year old, who thinks I'm a princess and through the eyes of my five year old who giggles when I talk about mermaids and doesn't care that my tummy is more squishy than it was when she was one.
read Jenny's post here. I'm the one in the black dress on the right hand side and it's a great post).
In the past my stomach has mostly gone back to it's old self about five minutes before I'm pregnant again. I've been told repeatedly by commenters on the blog that I must have diastasis recti, and I know lots of women who do, but I actually don't.
My stomach muscles actually have no separation whatsoever. They just are soft now. And stretched out. They've been cut apart and sewn back together four times in seven years. And it takes them a little longer each time to go back to their old shape. I'm not totally sure that they ever will, even though I can totally do V-ups again.
I would like to lose these last few pounds. I won't lie. Some days I really would. Other days when I'm playing on the ground with the kids I realize that as long as I'm healthy it doesn't matter all that much if I have a box of pre-baby clothes that I may never fit in again.
In the best moments I can steal glimpses of how they see me, and know that it's all totally worth it, even with my soft, squishy tummy. After all it makes a much, much better pillow for snuggling than the one I used to have anyways. Now if I can just remember that all the time, I'll be just fine.